Retention and LTV are at the heart of every online retail business. The data says it all: it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. D2C brands know just how critical it is to keep retention high and churn rates low. To do so, online retailers invest a tremendous amount in the customer’s journey, from a smooth UX experience (gotta lower those bounce rates!) to the best online support solutions out there. Not to mention the time and money dedicated to elaborate email marketing plans and rewards programs. And of course, there’s original content to generate, constantly. Because let’s face it— if your brand isn’t on the gram, does it even exist?
Online retailers are so deep in traditional sales and marketing strategies, they often fail to recognize where they turn off their customers. The truth is, most online customers actually leave a brand because of a negative experience after they click the ‘buy’ button. The tragedy is that online retailers have minimal control over this phase in the customer’s journey, as deliveries are mostly handled by giant, impersonal third parties. Just when you think you’ve won over your customer, a third party delivery service harms your customer’s experience and hurts your brand’s reputation.
1) Late Deliveries
Waiting for a package can be exciting. But when your customer waits too long, that’s just bad news for your brand. Let’s face it, it’s 2020 and no one wants to shop at online retailers that can’t find a way to deliver packages on time. Judging from the nasty posts that can be thrown your way – whether you’re an online clothing brand or e-commerce gadget shop, late deliveries are NOT cool.
2) Lost Packages Many customers will grow to hate a brand after a lost package experience. Not only has the customer’s package failed to arrive on time, apparently it’s lost forever in no man’s land with no way of tracking its location. The fact is 84% of consumers say that they won’t return to a brand after just one poor delivery experience. D2C brands desperately attempt to make up for such scenarios with discounts and extra perks— but it’s pointless. Your customer is long gone and more than often than not, won’t be back to shop again.
3) Complicated Returns Once a customer has decided they want to make a return, their return process should be seamless and dare we say even enjoyable. Online retailers with complicated return policies, risk losing customers during this common phase of post-purchase. Customers become easily frustrated with having to schedule returns, print labels, wait long periods for pickups, or locate designated pickup centers which aren’t always convenient. Can you blame them? If your customer can buy with a click, returning should be just as easy.
4) Eco – (Un)Friendly More and more shoppers are choosing brands that care about sustainability and the environment. Millennials are pushing brands to go green, and are showing more interest in companies whose social and environmental practices they trust. So when brands turn greener – they shouldn’t forget their part in the Post-Purchase journey. Yup, that means no plastic and eco-friendly and recyclable packaging options. Given that millennial spending in the US is estimated to account for 30% of total retail sales by 2020, brands better be taking the environmental aspects of their last-mile just as seriously as their customers.
5) Unfriendly Delivery People
There’s nothing more infuriating than receiving a package from an unhelpful, pissed off delivery guy. After a long waiting period (who knows— maybe your package was lost on the way!), the last thing your customer wants is to be handed their package with a pout. That a way to turn off your customer! Your customer deserves the best delivery experience – even if the delivery guy is having a bad day.
Online retailers who want to continue growing their business, understand the impact these negative last-mile experiences have on LTV and sales. In an arena of brands fighting for customer loyalty, online retailers should look for ways to innovate the post-purchase and last-mile experience. The last mile is just as critical as every step of your customer’s journey. With Bond, you can take control of the last mile and offer your customers an awesome and personalized post-purchase experience. Because Post-Purchase really matters.